The Sandbox

Amnesia, Art, Healing


For the past six years, mostly without knowing it, organically I have used my imagination, my heart, my memories and my sheer will to sort through and make sense of various traumas. A lot of this—most of it—was done in the form of writing. As my pages piled up and as I allowed for them to do so I found characters/parts-of-self along the way that have helped me to articulate how I think and feel and remember things—some young, some old, one not even human. For a long while this finding and sorting through because I did it in the form of writing/characters was considered a pathology, something to be “treated.” Versus what I’ve come to see it as which is healthy and normal. Also, having been a disciple of the Church of Psychotherapy for years I put this narrative my into pathological/psychological box right alongside the therapists I’ve seen.

At this stage I now honor this work and allowance. I celebrate the emergence of the meditation in writing, these parts of me. I honor how I’ve used them in the past and look forward to using everything I’ve learned in the future. These creations/discoveries have and continue to help me to gain insight and perspective. They are part of a deep and productive meditation custom made by and for me.

At some point while I still was questioning if I was “disordered” I made buttons with each name printed. I would wear them at times and see if anyone would ask (no one did.) I also gave one or two of these buttons to my therapist at the time and she treasured them. Eventually I wound up putting the buttons away.

As Susan Sontag said, “Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick.” It is important for us to recognize when we are sick. And when we aren’t.

Honoring and using creativity to explore—to find and to grow—is one of the healthiest and most human things we can do. Do not let anyone—or your own self—pathologize a creative and explosive exploration!